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[This paper was sent to me after the rest of the work was gone to the press. The title is in the hand-writing of John Duke of Bedford, who died in 1771, and the letter itself is in.the hand-writing of his secretary, Mr. Beaumont. It is difficult, however, to reconcile the contents of the paper with the title. Mention is made of the'mother of the persons to
. whom it is addressed, as one some time dead; but Anne, Countess of Bedford, the mother of Francis Lord Russell, and his brother William, did not die till 1684. Neither can I reconcile the details of the family given in this paper with an Earl of Bedford of any other period. The style seems to be that of the reign of Charles the First.]
men, in that, death is only displeasing when I think of dying before I see this my desire accomplished, or at least so far as my hopes may be greater than my fears: and as death every day makes his approaches nearer and nearer, (God knows how soon he will make a long separation between us :) and in this other regard too, that whilst I live I shall always be with thee. Be this, then, received either as a legacy for the
will of a dying, or the advice of a living, father, '
if it be' observed or obeyed in either capacity, I shall think myself neither dead nor absent; I put it into your hands with a prayer, that God will give it his blessing, and then you have mine.
It was the wisest saying of the wisest man, the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Holiness then ‘is the introduction of all wisdom; so it shall be the first of my advice, fear God, and if holiness give knowledge, .knowledge will give thee happiness, long life, riches, and honour. 3 of days is in the right hand of wisdom, and in her left hand are riches and honour, (said the wise King :) how exalteda thing, then, is religion, which is the 'mother of so great blessings, and who will pity thy complaints for the want of any ‘of these, if they obtained by the pleasure of (that which will also crown thee
withheaven) an holy life; be pious, and thou art all these ; fear God, and thou shalt not fear or devil, for it will set thee above the reach of fortune, or malice.
Fpr thy religion, distinguish .not thyself by, he not factions for, nor serve under anysect whatsoever: be thou a Christian, the mostpure, certain, noblest worshipper of God of all others. But if thou art pressed to give up thy name to any one profession, enquire after and embrace that whose principles'conduce most to piety, that which comes nearest the doctrine of Christ. And in the examination of questions in religion, though.I ammo divine, yet I dare venture to guide your conscience'thus far. Be careful still to search into the consequences of a doctrine; rely upon ‘the Scriptures, which are, without exposition, plain, and which, if they offer injury to the attributes of God, rendering them such as we should abhor ourselves to he, or if they open the gate to looseness and profaneness, by no means give them entertainment. Lastly, labour diligently to find the truth when God shall
‘ enable you with abilities for that great work, for
I would not have .you owe your religion to your education only ; and for your encouragement to the search of this truth, heedfully remember the